Are cast iron skillets safe? Thank you!Julie
Dear ‘Cooking Safe with’ Julie: I regularly bring Chef Ellen King to talk with The Green Mama Cafe and she has taught us a lot about cast iron. She recommends them as the BEST pans with which to cook. I have looked for more information and everything I find suggests that not only are they safe to cook with, but they might even be nutritionally beneficial as you can obtain a small amount of your daily iron need when using cast iron.
Remember: never use soap on them. Ellen described them as being porous and said that soap breaks down the important protective layer that helps them function and can even leach some soap taste into your food. Cast iron pans really like it if you dry them on the stove and periodically put a thin coat of oil on them. This is part of “seasoning” them which keeps them functioning well. My cast iron came from my dad and when I first got them they were covered in rust and gunk. I scoured them with salt and vinegar and have treated them with the above tips and they work great now.